We never know whose lives we are impacting by sharing our stories. What if the steps we are taking and vulnerably sharing about are exactly what someone else needs to hear that day? To not feel alone. To believe they can do it. To know that there is light at the end of even the darkest tunnel. We many never know who needs to hear only what we can share, but we should learn to believe that the stories of our healing, our successes, our pain, our glory can make a difference.
When I was a new teacher, I had to learn that I many never see the results of the seeds that I plant. Oh sometimes I would see the impact I had by the end of each year, but most of the time the concepts of love, justice for all people, respect as the most basic right for all, and the need to work together to make the world a better place were simply powerful seeds I planted in the hopes that they would grow over time and become strong, vibrant parts of my students’ approach to life.
For the past 3 years, I have lived my life out loud in a more conscious way than at any other point in my life. I have shared the story of my life through the dark times and the light ones. I’ve shared it partly because I hope my story may help someone else through their own life struggles but mainly I’ve shared it because I’ve HAD to. There is some driving force inside of me that seems to only be content when I write and share my story with whoever wants to hear it. The writing and the sharing heal parts of my being that are wounded and hurting. It also inspires me to seek greater joy and strength as I strive to live a life with purpose, passion and joy.
When I hear that sharing my story is inspiring others I have a myriad of internal reactions. The first one is most often joy that something about my life and the sharing of it is making others smile, have hope, not feel alone, or simply have a little bit better of a day. Knowing that my journey and the public sharing of that journey is inspiring others makes me want to continue to write and live my life out loud.
I also must admit that I often feel confused and don’t quite know what to say. That quiet (not always so quiet though) part of me where my inner critic resides doesn’t always understand how me just living my life and rambling on about it (inner critic words) could inspire anyone. I’m just floundering around over there and trying to make sense of things. I don’t always feel as strong or brave or with it as I think I sound sometimes. So I become baffled when others comment how strong I am. “What?” my inner critic says. “I’m not strong at all. I’m just good at putting on that mask.”
This winter as I’ve stepped even more firmly onto a path of living my life as a Warrior for love, peace and joy (and greater health), my journey sharing has become part of my discipline for myself. Sharing my journey has become the stepping stones to becoming the powerful Warrior Woman I want to be for myself, my family, my friends and the world. As I play with putting on the mantle of being Wonder Woman for myself and tapping into that amazing, playful, powerful Warrior energy I long to plant those seeds for others who want to find new paths to living lives of joy.
What if we all shared a little bit more of our joy and our pain, the light and the dark parts of our life, so that none of us felt we were alone? What if we learned to open our hearts and our lives to one another so we could find the strength we need to live lives of greater joy and realness? What if trusted that in sharing our story we might just be the light that someone needed to see on a very dark day?
I will continue to share my journey, the whole thing – good, bad, dark, light, joy, pain – for my own ongoing transformation. I will continue to share my journey of being a Warrior Woman for those who long that for themselves but they just can’t quite find their path yet. I will continue to share my journey because I really may never know whose life I’ve made a little bit better because I shared one story of my own.
While I may never know whose life I’ve impacted, I do know that the very sharing is transforming my own. That will be enough!